In an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia earlier on today, Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina has spoken on a range of topics relating to the current situation.
“Football has once again shown sensitivity in trying to be close to its fans, sending messages of solidarity to those who are suffering,” he said.
“Some projects such as ‘the rules of the game’ and some campaigns launched by the 2006 world champions demonstrate this.
“The Italian football federation has also made Coverciano available to firefighters and nurses. We are 100% available to help out.”
He then went on to insist that now is time for unity not division given the current situation.
“Football has found unity of purpose in recognising the centrality of the FIGC, something that has not happened for some time.
“Today is the time to leave behind the controversy and time to be close to those who work on the front line, who my heart goes out to.”
Next he was asked if there are any dates that have been decided for when the Italian football season could potentially resume.
“FIFA has already organised a task force for the extension of contracts beyond June 30. That is still the deadline, we are pending communications from UEFA and FIFA to find a solution that will save the season. We hope to start again by the end of May but for now we must comply with the provisions of the World Health Organisation.”
He was then asked what would happen if the season cannot be concluded by June 30 as European football’s governing body want.
“If we cannot finish by then we will have to reflect on things. I’ve not thought about it much as I’m partially optimistic that we can finish the season by then.
“What will happen with the title if the season does not finish? We will talk about it with the Federal Council on the basis of article 13 of our statute but I like to think that this season will end.
“Some think that Italian football fans only live for the title to be awarded but that is not the case. Places in European competitions need to be decided as does relegation and promotion.”
He then stressed that he would like to see changes made to the rules.
“We ask the world of football for an innovative model. We are not asking for money, but for some rules to be revisited. This does not only just go for football but for all sport. The fundamental sports law is 40 years old. There is a need for modernisation.”
“The betting rules and new stadium rules are ones we are working on but there are others. I also care a lot about copyright.”
Next Gravina went on to discuss the potential economic losses that Italian football could incur as a result of this situation.
“The figures circulating in these days I consider particularly high and beyond any reasonable logic. It is evident, and I underline it that the world of football is experiencing an economic emergency in all countries.”
He was then asked about the possibility of there being 22 teams in Serie A next season.
“There are many ideas being thrown about. It is not easy to change formats because there are special needs such as starting later compared to normal. Serie A would appear schizophrenic at 22 teams, it is a slightly feasible hypothesis.”
Gravina then shared his point of view when it comes to when training can resume.
“There are doctors and specialists who have knowledge of the subject. We must rely on them and I will say that in the meetings.”
In conclusion he spoke on what he has made of several Serie A clubs granting their foreign players permission to return to their native homelands in the past few days.
“I have let the clubs manage things. Players are just like us and they need to feel protected to.”